Uber Self-Driving Truck Delivers Budweiser Beer

The future of truck driving is here, and it’s bringing beer. Uber is best known for its transportation services, which have inspired many imitations across the globe. But the company is looking to branch out in new ways, particularly in the automated driving industry. And it looks like Uber has made a winning bet with its new startup (and the help of about 2,000 cases of beer).

Uber’s startup Otto, which focuses on self-driving trucks, has partnered with Anheuser-Busch for an unusual project. On its first major journey, Otto loaded up an automated vehicle and sent it on a trip from Fort Collins, Colorado all the way to Colorado Springs. Of course, the truck wouldn’t be empty; it was loaded up with 51,744 cans of Budweiser.

The drive runs about 125 miles, and with no human beings in the cab to keep an eye on things (they sat in the back of the truck to monitor progress and any signs of problems), the trip could have been hazardous to say the least. But it was smooth sailing the whole way through; thanks to a healthy dose of cameras, radars, and lidar sensors, the automated truck could actually ‘see’ the road. This allowed the vehicle to handle potentially dangerous situations and keep an eye on road and weather conditions.

This is more than just a cool new gimmick from Otto and Budweiser. Self-driving trucks could have a profound and positive impact on the logistics industry, particularly safety records. The automated vehicles would allow drivers to steal a few hours’ sleep on long trips, leaving them more alert behind the wheel and creating a safer highway for everyone involved.

Otto and Budweiser, having accomplished the first delivery by automated truck, are moving on to more freight projects in the future with a focus on self-driving trucks and their potential advantages. This partnership and the success of its first major endeavor are clear signs that self-driving vehicles are going to be a major part of the logistics industry in the coming years.

About The Author

Lauren Saccone has been a freelance writer for over 15 years. Her work has appeared in Pacific Standard, The Mary Sue, Parade Magazine, Miles Away, DailyLounge, Inquisitr, Hello Giggles, Bust, and various other outlets. A professional copywriter and SEO specialist, she is a graduate of Eugene Lang College: The New School in New York City.

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One Response

  1. Douglas Powell

    I live in the Fort Collins area and to be honest, I feel a bit concerned. This “test drive” was done before most people in the area even knew they were doing this sort of thing. Yes, I knew Uber was entertaining the idea of replacing their own drivers but we did not know of delivery trucks in this area. I for one would like to know how these vehicles were “licensed” for use on public roads. ~Doug


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